Knowing if you’re at increased risk for breast cancer just got a little easier at the Sheila R. Veloz Breast Center at Henry Mayo Newhall Hospital with a new service launched this week, officials said Thursday.
The Ambry Comprehensive Assessment, Risk and Education, or CARE, program offers access to state-of-the art-clinical genetic testing and family history assessments, allowing the center to better identify and manage patients with a high risk for cancer due to an inherited genetic mutation.
The center has offered the assessment service in paper form, but it’s now available virtually, where patients can answer questions. “The screening tool will let patients who are at high risk know if they meet the clinical guidelines for testing,” said Mara Shay, manager of the Women’s Imaging Services at the center.
“This tool offers a more detailed look into their risk for developing a genetic cancer and they can do that in their own home,” she said. “Typically, you spend two to three minutes to complete the paper form at the breast center, but now you can take more time at home and get more information about your family history.”
Patients can complete the screening via text or email and information is secured and is HIPAA compliant, she added. For those who agree to take a test, results can be received anywhere between two to three weeks. The virtual tool is also designed to follow up with patients and set up an appointment to review their results, as well as keep their history for an easier update for any future appointments.
By the age of 25, women are recommended to undergo formal risk assessments as an estimated 2.1 million women are affected by breast cancer annually, according to the American Society of Breast Surgeons.
To learn more about the Ambry Genetics’ CARE Program, visit ambrygen.com/CARE.